*sigh* Penny Sparrow-like, she didnt see (doesn’t see? chooses to ignore?) the insult
Oops! Almost wet a shield bug when relieving meself in the garden. Had my cellphone on me so took some pics of him and two of his friends. A yellow and black jumping spider moved off before I could snap him.
The shield bug is about the size of a fingernail. The pupa and the brown, orange and black moth are tiny. *click on the pic*
Hey Dad! What’s that in the pool!? shouts Jess this morning. It’s a mole, swimming rather desperately, gulping for air every so often, head underwater between. I rush for the poolnet and get him onto the lawn where he starts burrowing under the grass right away.
Well saved, Jessie!
Remember: Golden moles: Tiny teeth, eat insects & worms;
Mole rats: Big external teeth, eat plants;
Don’t harm either of them. Allow them in your gardens. Please. Your lawn or garden need NOT be ‘perfect’. In fact ‘perfect’ gardens are a sure sign of cruelty.
My garden is a wonderful tangle of KwaZulu indigenous growth gone wild. Interfered with only by my best man Tobias’ earnestly-felt desire to do something. Recently he trimmed the undergrowth near the birdbath and the spot where beautiful turquoise Araneus apricus spins her web each night and takes it down every morning.
I had to sit him down and remind him: Tobias, remember when we listened to the yellow-bellied greenbul’s complaints and you told me how it was saying “Don’t shoot the birds, it’s Spring and they’re nesting”, and how you would teach the kids in Jozini not to shoot birds in that season – and how they did anyway!?
Well, its Summer, and remember: We don’t trim or cut anything till the season fades and we’re sure no birds or other creatures are nesting. And even then we do it with great circumspection? Oh Yes, He Does Remember and Sorry, He Forgot.
But he forgot again and as I was leaving he asked Can You Buy Me A Rake? Um, what for, Tobias? Oh, Yes, He Forgot, We Don’t Rake. Right.
Well, I mention this because I have recently found out that unbeknown to me, I garden according to the ancient principle of wu wei. I mean, I always suspected my method was brilliant, but wu wei! That is brill. Its the Zen (or Tao? – or something . . ) art of “masterful inactivity”.
I love it: “The Art Of Masterful Inactivity”! Wu wei!
I’m reading a book by Esther Woolfson who lives in Aberdeen in Scotland called Field Notes from a Hidden City. The review of her book made me want to write about all the wonderful hidden creatures in my garden and generally in Westville, so I bought it with the express intention of plagiarising it. I’ve got to the part where she writes about wu wei and I’m right behind her.
I read a lot about books and then occasionally I buy one and actually read the whole thing. Often the book review is better than the book. I bought Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck by Eric G Wilson. Well, it was a very good review.
Back to plagiarism: I will write to Esther and tell her what I’m doing if I get the book done. My wu wei credentials are not confined to gardening, however, so she may be safe.
Here’s the manicured bit for soccer, rugby and biking, with refuges for creatures in front and behind. When the kids stop swimming the pool will be made more frog-friendly. Made? Well, Allowed To Go . . . .
Araneus apricus is a beautiful little turquoise orb spider I found in my garden.
She was identified by my favourite entomologist Tanza who said:
Bill lives in one of the council houses at the bottom of our cul de sac. Nice chap. I think he works for the eThekwini corpse, and I’m guessing that’s how he got to rent here. But I’m guessing.
Nice chap. Worried about people not doing things the way he wants them, and always quick to point out anything wrong.
Comes up to me in the PnP supermarket this weekend and says DO I KNOW!? He saw a big mfezi in my garden! AND:
Do I know what an mfezi is?!
Wow! That’s great! A Mocambique spitting cobra, Bill! Where’d you see it?
In your garden.
Yes, but where? I’d love to see it.
That thing can kill you man!
Actually I think what Bill means is “You should cut your grass!” See, I have sections of neatly-mown lawn. But I also have meadow, and a beautiful section of grassland, and it’s visible from the gate.
So sadly, no mfezi in my garden, I don’t think.
I haven’t told Bill about the concept of wu wei (“Masterful Inactivity”). Don’t want him to think I’m weird.But you can learn about my secret vice here.